Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

Monaco at risk?

You bet they are.

Look, I know that F1 would not be the same without a Monaco Grand Prix. Which is relevant if you’re sentimental. I ask you, my dear friends: do I look like a sentimental person?

Think about my position for a moment. I’m sitting on a franchise worth a couple of billion dollars. That sounds great (and believe me it is) but a money mountain like that attracts a lot of greedy people. In increasing order of greed we’re talking about the likes of the FIA (bunch of paupers), the F1 teams, a swarm of locusts private equity capitalists and, last but not least, my beloved ex-wife, who needs to pay the upkeep for the most expensive private jet on the market.

And they all want more. The only reason I can survive this mayhem is by asking more money from race organisers. Is that so unreasonable?

Not if you consider that developing countries like Russia, India and Texas are prepared to shell out tens of millions of dollars for the privilege to host a Grand Prix. So why would I give a giant discount to a bunch of rich people occupying the hottest real estate on France’s Mediterranean coast?

In the end it all comes down to negotiation skills. Which is why I always mention one race in public when I really want to put pressure on another.

Dear burghers of Monaco, I’ve said it before and it goes for your lot too: if you think you’ve got me by the balls, your hands aren’t big enough.

Mark Webber, new and improved

Gerhard Berger called me yesterday, said he’d read my post about Mark’s rear-view mirror issues. “Bernie,” he said, the secret of being a successful prankster is thinking out of the box and making the best use of the materials at hand. I have an immediate solution to his problems.”

Making the best use of the materials at hand? When someone like Gerhard says that I’m all ears.

“Do you still have your spies in the parc fermé? I’m sure you do.” No comment, I say. “OK good. So you’ll be receiving a box shortly with new mirrors. I want you to switch them in Hockenheim. It’ll make his day.”

I’m sure they will. Everyone on the grid will want those.